Swans, Cadavers, and Taverns

As you wander north of the downtown mall, start reading the slate signs mounted on many of the brick buildings and the sometimes hidden, grey metal historic markers.

Swan Tavern Historic Marker

This area, centered around the courthouse, contains dozens of old buildings. One famous example is the Swan Tavern, built sometime in the mid- to late-18th Century. The original structure was described in the early 1900s by Mr R Henry Carr (who was then 83 years old). He remembered it as a wooden building, with double porches, and a large picture of a swan for a sign. The tavern was originally operated by John Jewett, who owned it until his death in 1802. One commentator theorized that Jewett is buried in the lot alongside his beloved tavern. Sometime in the early 19th Century the tavern was abandoned. Sometime after that, a corpse was discovered in the ruins of the building, placed there by medical students who were getting in a little extra hands-on time with dissection techniques. In 1832 the ruin was replaced by the brick stucture that still stands today at the corner of E Jefferson and Park (today, the Red Land Club).